Our next concern centered on the notion that the BH wants to take more trips--long weekends or week-long vacations, to explore regional attractions such as the Driftless Area, Superior's North Shore, western Minnesota's prairies, etc.... Chickens need regular food and watering. We learned that there are feeders and waterers that hold a week's or more quantity. So that seems to be that, as they say. Heaven knows our sand plain soils can use all the organic matter we can provide and the wild turkeys don't hang around long enough or scratch enough to help out much.
|chickens in a chicken tractor would do a more thorough job scratching|
Photo by J. Harrington
The location of the prospective coop is being negotiated. The BH's preferred location is inconvenient due to Winter's snow falls and drifting, plus there's no electricity nor any paved path that could be readily snow blown. Alternatively, behind or beside the garage has been proposed as an alternate location with electric plugs readily available and snow-blowing thrown in for free.
If we were younger, we might seriously consider including a few birds for fly-tying feathers. Actually, if the egg-layers aren't as much of a pain as we fear they may be, we might add in some hackle growers just for the heck of it. But first we want to see how well we manage to hold off any skunks, raccoons, coyotes, weasels, mink or black bears that occasionally wander through the property. On the plus side, if we put the birds in a chicken tractor (check Joel Saladin's PolyFace farm) during warmer weather, they should consume most, maybe all, of the ticks. Perhaps their scratchings might even help level out some of our pocket gopher mounds. This could get interesting. Stay tuned! We're getting all organic as hell around here!
Woman Feeding Chickens
By Roy Scheele
Her hand is at the feedbag at her waist,sunk to the wrist in the rustling grainthat nuzzles her fingertips when lacedaround a sifting handful. It’s like rain,like cupping water in your hand, she thinks,the cracks between the fingers like a sieve,except that less escapes you through the chinkswhen handling grain. She likes to feel it givebeneath her hand’s slow plummet, and the smell,so rich a fragrance she has never quitegot used to it, under the seeming spellof the charm of the commonplace. The whitehens bunch and strut, heads cocked, with tilted eyes,till her hand sweeps out and the small grain flies.
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